Chocolate melts easily and at a relatively low temperature. Unfortunately, it also burns quickly and can "seize" up. These two methods minimize those risks.
- Melt Chocolate In Simmering Water. This method pretty much eliminates the risk of burning the chocolate. Bring a pan of water to a simmer, take it off the heat, and set a glass or metal bowl of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips directly in the water. The water will retain enough heat to melt the chocolate and, since it's off the heat, there is really no risk of burning anything.
- Melt Chocolate In the Microwave. This method uses fewer dishes, but requires a bit more attention. Put chopped chocolate or chocolate chips in a microwave-proof bowl. Microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring between each round, until it is almost fully melted. Allow that final tiny bit of melting to happen while you stir it at the end to make sure the chocolate doesn't seize or burn.